Tuesday, August 19, 2008

living by dying

Yesterday, I received the tragic news of a brother's death. Though I never met him personally, Justin Mager was one of the founding fathers of the Oklahoma State University Kappa Chapter of Beta Upsilon Chi. Justin graduated in 2008 and immediately embarked on a trip to India with Student Mobilization. Sunday evening, Justin was returning from leading a discipleship class, investing in the lives of others, when his motorcycle was hit head on by a car that crossed the center of the street. Justin was killed instantly and his friend, John Miller, was critically injured. Our fraternity has been praying fervently for John and the families of these young men.

When I read this story, I wondered how I, as a parent, would feel receiving the news that my child has been killed 8000 miles away. It's a grief I pray I never have to bear. On the other hand, it's a suffering that I long for in my walk with Christ. Justin died doing something eternal--a better decision than living doing something that doesn't matter. He "filled up in his flesh" what was "still lacking in regards to Christ's affliction" [Colossians 1:24]. That is, he bore the bloodshed of Jesus so that his suffering might complete and compliment the suffering testimony of Jesus. In giving his life so that others might live, Justin proved that Christ is better than life and worth death.

Perhaps this is why the martyrs throughout history have considered it a privilege to die for their faith. Because, their wounds are simply mouthpieces of the all-surpassing worth of God for whom they gladly pour out all of their life.


Kyle J. Simmons said...

BYX Colorado is praying for Oklahoma and Arkansas chapters and their associated families. It really sucks to hear things like this, especailly to someone who not only was considered a brother, but who devoted his life to ministry. Take Care, God Bless.

David Daniels said...

It is hard, Kyle. I agree. But, "for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

da momma said...

my tummy hurts...thanks for sharing and he sounds like such a neat guy! We will be pryaing for his family!